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Son of Frankenstein

USA 1939
produced by
Universal
directed by Rowland V. Lee
starring Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone, Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, Josephine Hutchinson, Donnie Dunagan, Emma Dunn, Edgar Norton, Perry Ivins, Lawrence Grant, Lionel Belmore, Lorimer Johnson, Gustav von Seyffertitz
screenplay by Willis Cooper, make up by Jack Pierce

Frankenstein, Universal horror cycle, Universal's Frankenstein, Frankenstein's monster (Boris Karloff)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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With his wife Elsa (Josephine Hutchinson) & son Peter (Donnie Dunagan), Baron Wolf Frankenstein (Basil Rathbone) returns to the village of Frankenstein to take up his inheritance. But the townfiolks are suspicious about the baron after all the grief Wolf's father caused them (see Frankenstein & Bride of Frankenstein), only police inspector Krogh (Lionel Atwill) is righteous enough to even offering them his support, even though Frankenstein's monster (Boris Karloff) ripped his right arm off when he was a child.

& then there's Igor, a hunchbacked graverobber who has been hanged but somehow survived it with a broken neck, & he somehow got hold of the monster, & has it do his bidding - which is at the present moment, killing off all those who convicted him to the gallows. But now the monster is fatally injured & he needs Wolf's help to heal it again ... & Wolf shows little hesitation to comply, as he wants to clear his family name (?).

At first though, all of the experiments Wolf conducts on the monster with the help of Igor & his butler Benson (Edgar Norton) seem to be in vain & only arouse the suspicion of the townfolks, until one night, rather out of the blue, the monster starts walking again, & Igor immediately starts to use it for his revenge-plot again, leading to more murders in the village & to the townfolks forming an angry mob & going to castle Frankenstein once more wioth torches & pitchforks, & it's only thanks to the inspector's best efforts that they remain relatively calm.

But due to some stories of little Peter, who had some - friendly - run-ins with the monster, the inspector soon grows suspicious about the goings-on in the castle as well, & soon places Wolf under arrest. Wolf though is attacked by Igor & shoots him in self-defense, which in turn makes the monster go wild, having lost his closest friend, & for some reason it abducts little Peter.

But thanks to the combined efforts of the inspector - who distracts the monster by shooting at it - & Wolf - who pushes the monster into the nearest sulfur pit - Frankenstein's evil creation is destroyed once & for all (or is it ?).

Wolf & family leave the town forever with a cheering crowd bidding them farewell.

 


Despite some marvellous acting by Karloff, Lugosi, Atwill & to a point also Rathbone, & some great sets that at some points border expressionism, Son of Frankenstein is a rather dull entry into the Frankenstein series - especially when compared to its 2 outstanding predecessors (Frankenstein & Bride of Frankenstein). The faults lie mainly in the story that has very little to tell, does so in the most unimaginative way, takes itself way too seriously, takes increbibly long for very little relevant plot (the film is about 100 minutes long - in comparison, Frankenstein from 1931 was hardly 70 minutes long), & despite all that contains plotholes & leaps of reason aplenty (examples - how does Wolf Frankenstein want to clear his family's name by reviving the monster that brought all the grief in the first place? Why does the monster abduct the little kid in the end?). Ah yeah, & the child actor Donnie Dunagan is terrible.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD